Bonderman Travel Fellowship

Xin Eva Yao

Eva Yao 2019

Business Administration

Current Location/Job: Boulder, CO. President, CrestoneStar Consulting


2002 Fellows

Hometown: Shanghai & Shenzhen, China

Travel Locations: Cuba

Alumni Reflections

“I wanted to learn about the Chinese diaspora in Latin American cultures and also to experience the Latin American culture first- hand (especially the music/dance/arts). Specific to Cuba, I wanted to see how the Cuban political and economic system might be similar or different from that of China given the shared ideology and top-down structure. I found the Chinese community in Havana, toured the building of their association, talked to the head of the association, visited with the editor of the long-time local Chinese newspaper (and the 100+ year-old printing machine), and stopped at the senior cafeteria for the Chinese. I did find parallels in the political and economic systems between China (particularly pre-economic-reform) and Cuba, including psychological and behavioral patterns typical to such environments. However, I noticed how vibrant and expressive the Cuban culture remains (at least to a visitor), in stark contrast to the order that the socio-economic-political infrastructure attempts to exert, possibly because Cuba’s cultural tradition is so visceral that no adopted institutions can squander it.”